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Home News Ghanaian Languages Latest Update and statistic
Ghanaian Languages Latest Update and statistic

Ghanaian Languages Latest Update and statistic

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Ghanaian Languages Latest Update and statistic

The official language is ENGLISH.
A: GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED LANGUAGES
1. AKAN (Ashanti, Fante, Akuapem, Akyem, Kwahu) (Written Twi)
2. DAGAARE / WAALE Spoken in Upper Western Region (UWR)
3. DANGBE Spoken in Greater Accra.(G/A)
4. DAGBANE Spoken in Northern Region (NR)
5. EWE ” Volta Region (VR)
6. GA ” Greater Accra Region (G/A)
7. GONJA ” Northern Region (NR)
8. KASEM ” Upper Eastern Region (UER)
9. NZEMA ” Western Region (WR)

B: NON-GOVERNMENT SPONSORED LANGUAGES
LANGUAGE LOCATION

1. ADELE Spoken in VR (Tutukpene &Nkwanta)
2. ANUFO/CHOKOSI Spoken in NR (Chereponi)
3. BULI Spoken in UER (Sandema)
4. BIMOBA Spoken in NR (Bunkpurugu)
5. BIRIFOR Spoken in UWR & NR(Bilema & Danvar)
6. BASSARI Spoken in NR…
7. CHUMBURUNG Spoken in NR & VR (Ekumdipe)
8. FRAFRA Spoken in UER (Bolgatanga)
9. GIKYODE/AKYODE Spoken in VR (Shiare)
11. HANGA Spoken in NR (
12. KONKOMBA Spoken in NR (Saboba)
13. KUSAAL Spoken in UER (Bawku)
14. KASEM Spoken in UER (Navrongo)
15. KOMA Spoken in UER (Yipabongo)
16. BUEM/ LELEM Spoken in VR (Jasikan & Bodada)
17. MAMPRULI Spoken in NR (NALERIGU)
18. MO/ DEG Spoken in B/A&NR (New Longoro & Bole Dist.)
19. NAFAANRA Spoken in B/A (Banda Ahenkro)
20. NKONYA Spoken in VR (Akloba & Wurupong)
21. NTRUBO / DELO Spoken in VR (Pusupu)
22. NAWURI Spoken in NR (Kitare)
23. SISAALA Spoken in UWR (Tumu)
24. TAMPULMA Spoken in NR
25. VAGLA Spoken in NR
26. WALI Spoken in UWR
additions to be made
Guan speaking peolpe of Anum, Larteh, Adukrom, Dawu, Awukugua, Boso, Senya Bireku, Winneba. Bono speaking peolpe of Brong Ahafo, the Moo people, the Sehwi, Aowins, Krobos.

 

Dialect names
FANTE (FANTI, MFANTSE), AKUAPEM (AKWAPEM TWI, AKUAPIM, AKWAPI),
ASANTE (ASHANTE TWI, ASANTI, ACHANTI), AGONA, DANKYIRA, ASEN,
AKYEM BOSOME, KWAWU, AHAFO

Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano,
Tano, Central, Akan
Geographical region
The Asante are south central, Ashanti Province. The Akuapem are
southeast, in areas north of Accra. The Fante are south central,
between Winneba, Takoradi, and Obuasi
Population
7,000,000 (1991 WA); 44% of the population (1990 WA); 1,380,000
Asante Twi; 1,170,000 Fante; 230,000 Akuapem Twi (1978 SIL)
Bible printings
1871-1964
New Testament printings
1863-1981
Printings of whole books of Bible
1859-1957
Remarks
Dialects are largely inherently intelligible. The language of the
Asante and Akuapem is called ‘Twi’. An official literary language
used for education through university, and in mother tongue
authored literature. Roman alphabet
Grammar typology
SVO
Total speakers
7,000,000

DAGAARI, SOUTHERN (Ghana)

Alternate language names
SOUTHERN DAGARI, DAGARI, DAGARA, DEGATI, DAGATI, DOGAARI
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest, Dagaari-Birifor, Dagaari
Geographical region
Northwest corner
Population
423,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
Printings of whole books of Bible
1970
Status
Work in progress
Remarks
The people are called ‘Dagaaba’. The language is spoken by all
ages. Dagaari and Birifor are partially intelligible; Dagaari is
more prominent politically and socially. It is an official
literary language with Wali. It is distinct from Northern Dagaari
in Burkina Faso
Total speakers
423,200
Religion
70% traditional religion, 30% Muslim

DAGBANI (Ghana)

Alternate language names
DAGBANE, DAGOMBA, DAGBAMBA
Dialect names
NANUNI (NANUMBA)
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast
Geographical region
Northeast around Tamale and as far as Yendi.
Also in Togo – settlers
Population
504,100 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
New Testament printings
1974-1983
Printings of whole books of Bible
1935-1955
Remarks
The people are called ‘Dagbamba’ or ‘Dagomba’, the language
‘Dagbani’. 90% lexical similarity with Talni, 89% with Kusal. An
official literary language. 2% literate
Grammar typology
SVO
Total speakers
504,100 or more
Religion
Muslim 60%, traditional religion 39%, Christian 1%

ENGLISH (Ghana)

Genetic affiliation
Indo-European, Germanic, West, North Sea, English
Primary country of language
United Kingdom
Population
Second language speakers: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and Voegelin);
450,000,000 total (1991 WA)
National language
Yes

GA-ADANGME-KROBO

Alternate language names
AMINA, GAIN, ACCRA, ACRA
Dialect names
GA, ADANGME (ADANGBE, DANGME, DANGBE), KROBO
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Ga-Dangme
Geographical region
Southeast, coast around Accra and inland. Also in Togo
Population
1,125,900 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 8% of the population
(1990 WA)
Remarks
Ga and Adangme are separate official literary languages. Ga is
the major language of Accr=A0, the capital
Total speakers
1,125,900
Also in
Togo

GURENNE

Alternate language names
FRAFRA, FAREFARE
Dialect names
GUDENI (GUDENNE, GURENNE, GURUNE), NAANI (NANKANI, NANKANSE),
BOONI, TALNI, NABT
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast
Geographical region
Northeast around Bolgatanga (Bolgatanga District) and Navrongo
Population
526,300 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) including 400,000 in the
Upper East Region, perhaps 100,000 in various towns and cities in
other regions (1988 SIL); 25,100 in Burkina Faso (1991 Vanderaa);
551,400 total
Remarks
They call themselves ‘Gurunsi’ and their language ‘Farefare’ or
‘Frafra’. The dialects are named after towns or localities. They
consider Mampruli, Kusaal, and Dagaati to be sister languages.
Nabt and Talni may be considered dialects of Mampruli. 5 major
dialects and many minor ones. Taught at the University of Ghana.
Dictionary in progress
Total speakers
551,400
Religion
90% traditional religion, 8% Christian, 2% Muslim
Also in
Burkina Faso

GONJA (Ghana)

Alternate language names
NGBANYITO
Dialect names
GONJA, CHORUBA (CHOROBA), DUMPO (NDMPO)
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano,
Tano, Guang, North Guang
Geographical region
West central, around the Upper Volta River
Population
138,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
Remarks
It is not intelligible with Chumburu. An official literary
language
Total speakers
138,500
Religion
Muslim 98%, Christian 2%

GUA

Alternate language names
LARTEH-CHEREPON-ANUM-BOSO
Dialect names
OKERE (CHIRIPONG, CHIRIPON, CHEREPON), LATE (LETE, LARTEH), ANU
(ANUM), BOSO
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano,
Tano, Guang, Southern Guang
Geographical region
Anum: a pocket in Ewe area, Lete and Chiripon: a pocket between
Ga and Twi areas
Population
156,200; 54,000 Cherepon; 36,000 Larteh; 30,000 Anum (1988
GILLBT)
Bilingual in
Akan
Status
Needs survey
Remarks
Speakers of all dialects use Twi (Akan) as second language
Religion
Traditional religion
Total speakers
156,200

HAUSA (Ghana)

Genetic affiliation
Afro-Asiatic, Chadic, West, A, A.1
Primary country of language
Nigeria
Geographical region
Mainly in Nigeria. Also in Niger, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Chad,
Sudan, Burkina Faso
Population
170,000,000 total (2020); 75,000,000 first and second language
speakers total (1991 WA)
Trade language
Yes
Remarks
The trade language of northern Ghana
Religion
Muslim

KONKOMBA (Ghana)

Alternate language names
LIKPAKPALN, KPANKPAM, KOM KOMBA
Dialect names
LICHABOOL-NALONG, LIMONKPEL, LINAFIEL, LIKOONLI, LIGBELN
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Gurma
Geographical region
Northeast border area around Guerin, Yendi District, and into
Togo. Many groups are scattered throughout north central Ghana
Population
220,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 50,100 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa
CRC); 250,000 total
Bilingual in
Twi, Bassari, Hausa, English
Remarks
‘Likpakpaln’ is the self name for the language, ‘Bikpakpaln’ for
the people. Patrilineal, patrilocal
Subsistence type
Agriculturalists: yams
Total speakers
250,000
Religion
60% traditional religion, 25% Muslim, 15% Christian
Also in
Togo

KUSAAL, EASTERN (Ghana)

Alternate language names
KUSALE, KUSASI
Dialect names
ANGOLE, TOENDE
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast, Kusaal
Geographical region
Northeast corner, Bawku District
Population
400,000 (1992 GILLBT)
Bilingual in
Hausa
Remarks
Dialects are inherently intelligible. Distinct from Western
Kusaal of Burkina Faso. Kusasi are the people, Kusaal is the
language. 2% literate
Total speakers
400,000
Religion
Traditional religion 88%, Muslim 7.5%, Christian 4.5%

MAMPRULI (Ghana)

Alternate language names
MAMPRULE, MANPELLE, NGMAMPERLI
Dialect names
NABT (NABNAM, NAMNAM, NABDAM, NABDE, NABIT, NABTE, NABDUG,
NABRUG), TALNI (TALENSI, TALANSI, TALENE, TALLENSI)
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Southeast
Geographical region
East and west of Gambaga. Talni is north central, around Tongo.
Some in Togo
Population
226,800 Mamprusi (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
Bilingual in
Gurenne, Bimoba, Bissa
Printings of whole books of Bible
1943-1944

Work in progress Remarks
The people are called ‘Mamprusi’. The speakers of Talni are
‘Talensi’. 50% intelligibility with Dagbani. Some people are
bilingual in Gurenne, Bimoba, or Bissa
Total speakers
226,800 or more
Religion
60% traditional religion, 35% Muslim
Also in
Togo

MOORE (Ghana)

Alternate language names
MOSSI, MORE, MOLE, MOSHI
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, North, Gur, Central,
Northern, Oti-Volta, Western, Northwest
Primary country of language
Burkina Faso
Geographical region
Mainly in Burkina Faso. Also in Benin and Cte d’Ivoire
Population
4,700,000 total or more (1991); 19,700 in Togo (1991); 17,000 in
Mali (1980)
Remarks
Have come to Ghana to work
Religion
Traditional religion, Muslim

NZEMA (Ghana)

Alternate language names
NZIMA, APPOLO
Genetic affiliation
Niger-Congo, Atlantic-Congo, Volta-Congo, Kwa, Nyo, Potou-Tano,
Tano, Central, Bia, Southern
Geographical region
Southwest corner and into Cte d’Ivoire
Population
285,800 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 46,500 in Cte d’Ivoire
(1991); 332,300 total
Bilingual in
Fante
Remarks
An official literary language
Religion
Traditional religion
Total speakers
332,300
Also in
Cote dIvoire

ABRON

606,600 in Ghana (1991); 114,600 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991);
791,200 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)

ADAMOROBE SIGN LANGUAGE
ADELE
9,500 in Ghana (1991); 7,000 in Togo (1991); 16,500 total
(1991 L. Vanderaa 1991)
AHANTA
97,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa 1991)
AKAN
7,000,000 (1991 WA); 44% of the population (1990 WA);
1,380,000 Asante Twi; 1,170,000 Fante; 230,000 Akuapem Twi
(1978 SIL)
AKPAFU-LOLOBI
16,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
AKPOSO
5,400 in Ghana (1991); 94,900 in Togo (1991); 100,300 total
(1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
ANIMERE
2,000 (1988 GILLBT)
ANUFO
30,700 in Ghana (1991); 41,800 in Togo (1991); 10,000 in
Benin (1991); 82,500 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
ANYIN
122,800 in Ghana (1991); 487,900 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991);
610,700 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
AVATIME
11,600 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
AWUTU
100,000 (1988 GILLBT)
BIMOBA
73,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
BIRIFOR, GHANA
63,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
BISSA
119,100 in Ghana (1991 Vanderaa); 400,000 in Burkina Faso
(1991 SIL); 50,000 emigrants in Cte d’Ivoire; 3,000 in Togo
(1991 SIL); 572,100 total
BOWIRI
10,000 (1988 GILLBT)
BULI
100,000 in Ghana, including 80,000 in the Sandema District
(1991 SIL); possibly 60,000 in Burkina Faso;
160,000 total possibly
CHAKALI
4,000 (1988 GILLBT)
CHALA
2,000 (1988 GILLBT)
CHUMBURUNG
40,000 (1992 GILLBT), including 2,000 Yeji
DAGAARI, SOUTHERN
423,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
DAGBANI
504,100 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
DEG
17,200 in Ghana (1991); 1,100 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991);
18,300 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
DELO
5,100 in Ghana (1991); 5,000 in Togo (1991); 10,100 total
(1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
DWANG
10,000 (1988 GILLBT)
ENGLISH
Second language speakers: 1,000,000 (1977 Voegelin and
Voegelin); 450,000,000 total (1991 WA)
EWE
1,615,700 in Ghana (1991); 13% of the population (1990 WA);
861,900 in Togo (1991); 2,477,600 total (1991 L. Vanderaa
CRC); 3,000,000 including second language users (1991 WA)
FULFULDE, MAASINA
7,300 in Ghana (1991); 610,000 total
GA-ADANGME-KROBO
1,125,900 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 8% of the
population (1990 WA)

GHANAIAN SIGN LANGUAGE
GIKYODE
10,000 speakers, 8,000 in the traditional area (1991 SIL)
GONJA
138,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
GUA
156,200; 54,000 Cherepon; 36,000 Larteh; 30,000 Anum (1988
GILLBT)
GURENNE
526,300 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC) including 400,000 in
the Upper East Region, perhaps 100,000 in various towns and
cities in other regions (1988 SIL); 25,100 in Burkina Faso
(1991 Vanderaa); 551,400 total
HANGA
5,000 including 3,000 in the traditional area, 2,000
elsewhere (1992 GILLBT)
HAUSA
22,000,000 total (1991); 35,000,000 first and second
language speakers total (1991 WA)
JWIRA-PEPESA
17,500 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
KABIYE
520,000 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 489,200 in Togo (1991
Vanderaa); 1,200,000 including second language speakers
(1991 UBS)
KANTOSI
2,000 possibly in Ghana, including 200 to 300 in Sandema
District, possibly 1,000 in Kpaliwongo (1991 P. and N.
Schaefer SIL)
KASEM
80,000 in Ghana (1990 SIL); 100,000 in Burkina Faso (1990
SIL); 180,000 total (1990 SIL)
KONKOMBA
220,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 50,100 in Togo (1991 L.
Vanderaa CRC); 250,000 total
KONNI
2,600 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
KPLANG
7,700 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
KRACHE
60,000 (1988 GILLBT)
KULANGO, BONDOUKOU
10,000 in Ghana (1991); 81,600 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991);
91,600 total (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
KULANGO, BOUNA
15,500 in Ghana (1991); 155,000 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991);
170,500 total
KUSAAL, EASTERN
400,000 (1992 GILLBT)
LELEMI
30,570 (1988 SIL)
LIGBI
10,000in Ghana (1988 GILLBT); 4,000 in Cte d’Ivoire (1991
L. Vanderaa CRC); 14,000 total
LOGBA
5,000 (1988 SIL)
MAMPRULI
226,800 Mamprusi (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
MOORE
4,700,000 total or more (1991); 19,700 in Togo (1991);
17,000 in Mali (1980)
NAFAANRA
45,000 (1992 GILLBT)
NAWDM
(112,000 in Togo)
NAWURI
13,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
NCHUMBULU
1,300 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC
NKONYA
20,000 (1988 GILLBT)
NTCHAM
100,000 total (1992 SIL); 62,300 in Togo (1991 L. Vanderaa
CRC)
NYANGBO
3,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
NZEMA
285,800 in Ghana (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC); 46,500 in Cte
d’Ivoire (1991); 332,300 total
PASAALA
50,000, with 25,000 Pasaali, 25,000 Gilbagala (1991 GILLBT)
SAFALIBA
4,000 (1988 GILLBT)
SEHWI
150,000 total (1988 GILLBT)
SEKPELE
15,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
SELE
6,000 (1988 GILLBT)
SISAALA, TUMULUNG
121,200 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
SISAALA, WESTERN
20,000 (1988 GILLBT)
TAFI
2,900 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
TAMPULMA
35,000 (1992 GILLBT)
TEM
300,000 total (1987 SIL); 75,000 in Benin (1978 MARC);
156,446 in Togo (1981 census)
VAGLA
10,000 in Ghana (1992 GILLBT); 37 in Cte d’Ivoire (1975
census); 10,000 total
WALI
99,100 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)
WASA
175,000 (1991 L. Vanderaa CRC)